Generally favorable reviews - based on 83 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 75 out of 83
  2. Negative: 0 out of 83
  1. Oct 16, 2012
    Had enough of the limitations of circuits? Looking for a fun party with lots of speed, hefty competition and loud thumping music? Enough reasons to delve into Forza Horizon. It's not the 'next best thing' regarding free roaming racing games, but it is a good step in a new direction for the franchise.
  2. Oct 27, 2012
    Forza Horizon is a fresh branch on the Forza tree. It is truly a pleasure to drive the beautiful cars pedal to the metal through the magnificent scenery, but Forza Horizon feels a little bit inconsistent at times.
  3. 80
    Forza Horizon impresses, and not just with the high quality of almost all its facets or the sheer amount of content in the package. Where it really wins us over is in the pure driving bliss that too few racing games remember to include these days.
  4. Oct 12, 2012
    If you're only going to buy one racing game this year, make sure it's Forza Horizon. This game is pure brilliance.
  5. Oct 30, 2012
    Forza Horizon is a good first effort at an open world racer for the series, but it's not quite top-tier in the category yet. A decent story would be a good place to start.
  6. Nov 16, 2012
    A thrilling, colorful racer that pushes the 360 to its absolute limits [Christmas 2012, p.75]
  7. Nov 3, 2012
    A different, but superb Forza title nonetheless. The game does not harm the series name; on the contrary, it expands on stiff racing circuits with a dense public traffic panorama. Even though it has its flaws and the game shows compromises in it, as their first attempt Playground Games own this specific sub-genre. However, no daydreaming to you Playground Games, you need to drive away from your competition, especially from your Turn 10 fellows.
  8. Oct 12, 2012
    While Forza Horizon can feel like demographic-mongering, interactive junk food, you'll find a deeply engaging racing experience below its overly gaudy candy-paint top coat. The game truly shines when it lets you live out your childhood fantasies, driving that car from the poster on your bedroom wall down a meandering motorway toward the sunset-soaked … well, horizon.
  9. Oct 12, 2012
    Horizon's occasional missteps may clash with the machinelike precision of the Motorsport games that preceded it, but its ambition and untethered road map more than make up for those faults. This is a game that understands the thrill of the open road, and in delivering that thrill it's an unqualified success.
  10. Oct 12, 2012
    A great departure from the core Forza Motorsport titles. If you're blindly walking into the game without knowing that it's less sim-driven and far more of a fun arcade racer with many of Forza's trademark trappings--rewinds, color-coded tracking, and customization--you're likely in for a rude awakening. It's got its bumpy patches, but if you're interested in playing a long, deep, and rewarding racer, Forza Horizon is a game worth putting in the mileage on.
  11. Oct 27, 2012
    Forza Horizon isn't exactly ground breaking, games like Test Drive Unlimited and Burnout Paradise have already tried the open world experience. However Forza Horizon does it better than both and offers up an amazing experience that doesn't stop giving from start to finish, it is simply glorious.
  12. Oct 17, 2012
    While Forza Horizon does have room to grow, it's fantastic for anyone who wants to take to the open road with more authentic driving and car customization.
  13. Oct 23, 2012
    Dare I say it, Forza Horizon is arguably the most attractive and all-encompassing racer of the generation.
  14. Oct 18, 2012
    Forza Horizon manages to feel like something completely different, while retaining enough of Forza's core identity to make it fit really well into this established franchise. I'd highly suggest checking it out whether you're a Forza fan or just a racing fan in general; I doubt you'll be disappointed.
  15. Oct 23, 2012
    Forza: Horizon turns away from the down-in-the-weeds realism of previous versions to provide a more approachable ride. It's chock full of things to do and races to run, but even just driving through the spectacular countryside provides hours of enjoyment. While it's not strong in innovation in the genre, it does a respectable job of maintaining the status quo.
  16. Oct 15, 2012
    But getting behind the wheel of one of the most realistic driving engines and booting around, challenging racers, and having all kinds of fun adds value to all cars – not just the ones that are ridiculously fast and expensive. I've played the game at numerous difficulty settings both with 360 controller and MS Force Feedback Racing Wheel, and have come away impressed.
  17. Oct 15, 2012
    Forza Horizon in many aspects orients itself towards the predecessor. But the open world and the festival the game revolves around is incredibly entertaining. Brilliant graphics and the sound of roaring engines round out a great racing game.
  18. Oct 12, 2012
    Most importantly, it manages to simultaneously feel like a Forza game while also letting in more of what makes racing games fun for all players, rather than staying strictly focused on those of us who want strict simulations of varying realism.
  19. Oct 24, 2012
    I'm disappointed with the new Forza, but not because it's a poor game or one that doesn't meet my expectations. It's a really good game, but there's no big ambition. You play it and you put it away. The first admiration fades away quickly and later on it is evident, that the developers lacked ideas for filling an open world with content. It looks as if the new Forza is a framework that will be filled by the means of DLC. How else can you think about it, when all the game's secrets can be revealed by using real money? It can be done using the game's virtual currency as well, but it will take more time. Playground's new game is a technological gem and nothing more.
  20. Oct 16, 2012
    The game's most compelling aspect is its almost RPG-like popularity engine, which encourages you to see every slight kink in the road as a means to show off. If driving like a hooligan without having to face any consequences – in cars you'll never be able to afford – sounds appealing, then you'll love Forza Horizon. Whether by accident or design, Microsoft has hit upon a format that gives its flagship driving franchise the credibility it previously lacked.
  21. Oct 17, 2012
    Not only is Forza Horizon a worthy addition to the series, but one of the most comprehensive racing experiences this generation.
  22. Nov 14, 2012
    In its attempt to make the Forza brand more accessible, Horizon has delivered a ride that is fun for brief spurts yet doesn't reward mastery of the vehicles within. [Dec 2012]
  23. Oct 12, 2012
    If you love Forza 4, this is the perfect companion. If you love cars, this is essential. The school of thought may be that it's hard to push racing games this late in a generation, but Playground Games hasn't just moved the needle here. It's buried it.
  24. Nov 14, 2012
    Horizon is possibly one of the best open world racers available.
  25. Oct 13, 2012
    Forza Horizon trades the serious character of the Motorsports series for a game that is literally a party. Thanks to the great festival music the atmosphere is better than ever, while still keeping the Forza gameplay intact. Embrace the many different terrains, secrets and a breathtaking world.
  26. Oct 30, 2012
    Expressing its love for beautiful cars and intuitive driving controls, Forza Horizon offers a new arcade and fun dimension that could not be found in the Forza Motosport series. Playground Games manages to create a pleasant road trip where competition can easily replace our need to travel. With hundreds of cars to unlock, Forza Horizon proposes a well-balanced gameplay, despite some problems regarding the A.I. and the multiplayer modes.
  27. Oct 15, 2012
    When it comes down to it, some automotive enthusiasts just want to jump into the car of their dreams and go for a long drive through the country, and Forza Horizon delivers that simple pleasure on a silver platter. The fact that a solid racing game is included doesn't hurt either.
  28. 80
    Valiant and almost flawless effort to bring more arcade elements into the serious Forza games offers more than any other competition. [Dec 2012]
  29. Oct 30, 2012
    Forza Horizon pulls off a splendid mix of arcade racing and simulator and impresses both visually and in driving mechanics. The presentation and attitude could be better and the game really flaunts it's coming DLC packs.
  30. Oct 25, 2012
    With this shift to an open world style, and storyline-driven progression, Forza has drifted into an area that the franchise probably requires, but isn't expertly realized.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 357 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 89
  2. Negative: 9 out of 89
  1. Nov 3, 2012
    Just played this game, very beautiful, very engaging, perfect usability design, excellent choice of music of various genres, love it! LightingJust played this game, very beautiful, very engaging, perfect usability design, excellent choice of music of various genres, love it! Lighting and overall presentation is gorgeous! Very fun to play, thanks for making this game M.S. you made my weeknights and weekends! Full Review »
  2. Oct 24, 2012
    Feels a bit like need for speed, but this game is overall still a good effort by microsoft to keep their exclusive franchises going on. ThisFeels a bit like need for speed, but this game is overall still a good effort by microsoft to keep their exclusive franchises going on. This is another good game to add to my racing collection. Still not better than FM:4. Full Review »
  3. Nov 28, 2012
    What do you get when you take a bunch of Brits who worked on such game series like Project Gotham Racing,Colin Mcrae, DIRT, GRID, BLUR andWhat do you get when you take a bunch of Brits who worked on such game series like Project Gotham Racing,Colin Mcrae, DIRT, GRID, BLUR and others? You get a new British developer named Play Ground Games and a great game named Forza Horizon is what! I enjoyed previous Forza games but there was a lot that i didn't like about them...1.Driving round the same track for more than 3 laps bores me. 2.The backround graphics looked terrible,buildings and trees etc just looked poo! 3.The music in them was terrible. Forza Horizon ditches race tracks for a big open world set in Colorado let me tell you...this game looks incredible, the backround graphics are much much better than previous Forzas and the whole game is not only one of the best graphical racing games, it's also one of the best graphical games out there on console.The closest thing to compare it to graphicaly is Criterion Games Need For Speed Hot Pursuit 2010 which also looks amazing.The locations are very varied and similar too,from deserts to forests to cities to small towns.The new day/night lighting cycle is very impressive,suns sets and rises with bursts of light from behind snowy mountains and through trees,as flocks of birds take to the skys and Autumn leaves gently fall from the trees,while the Horizon festival lights up the sky with lots of lights lasers and fireworks,it all looks impressive. There are around 140 cars on offer with many more to download, graphically the cars are all great but a mixed bunch, what i mean by this is some of the cars (The main big boys like the Ferrari 458 Italia etc) look just like in Forza 4, while others are around 85-95% as good looking as Forza 4's. Think of the cars in Need For Speed The Run and Forza 4...well their inbetween the 2, better looking than The Runs but not quite as good as Forza 4' the cars look great and the change doesnt stick out like a sore thumb at all,the whole thing blends real well.The traffic on the road looks very good just like it did in Need For Speed Hot Pursuit 2010,lots of real world traffic cars,vans and lorrys driving around the open world.Selecting cars in the show room look 90 to 95% as good as Forza 4, but the new lighting system looks better with light reflecting off the cars and even the lighting rigs on the shoowroom roof reflecting in the windscreen etc. Theres an overwhelming ammount to do in Forza Horizon, lots of varied events and things to do from racing on and off road,racing planes,hot air balloons,sprint races,track races,street races and more.Also every now and again 'Barn finds' will be announced over one of the radio stations, basically you have to find a barns that have old run down cars in them so an old guy can fix them up for you to keep or sell.Handling is very much like Forza 4 with just a dashing of Race Driver GRID in there + you get to select different modes like Simulator,assisted or customize your own just like in Forza 4, its all there the same as simulator upgrades takn straight from Forza 4, add turbos,suspension,body kits,decals,change the paint,wheels,everything from Forza 4 is in here to keep the simulator fans happy. There are many different road surfaces on and off road and all of them feel different and a pleaure to drive on. The music is much better than previous Forza games, this time the famous British Electro duo Chase & Status have put together over 60 different artists across 3 stations. Lots of house,dance,electro,dub step,drum and base which all the Europeans will love, It also has a diverse selection of Rock and lots of remixes of of indie festival favorites. The radio is alos alive with different radio DJ's talking about random funny stuff and giving you updates on all kinds of things from barn finds,to latest racing news,whos cool and whos not,whos challenging and inviting who to events and talk about random celebrities at the Horizon festival, so the radio stations feel alive the whole time and never get boring.For fans of the cheesie stories and high end custcenes in the Need For Speed Undergound and Most Wanted 2005 series, you will love Horizon as it has all these and a story to it,hot girls,other racers challenging you an smack talkin,weird an wonderfull celebrities,old wise men who fix up your cars while offering you advice and educating you a bit on the classic barn find cars, theres plenty of all that in Horizon and its all done well and looks great. Neat little touches where men and hot girls stand in the middle of the road with flares to start some street races or neon flares shooting up in the sky to start a race before landing in the middle of the road and fizzling out,and fireworks and conffetti as you cross the finish line. I think its the best Forza in the series as i love open world racers (and no im not a kid! Ive noticed simulator fans saying that Horizon is for kids,im 30),add that to its amazing graphics,great music and overwhelming content and you have one of the best racing games ever made. Full Review »